Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa, who suffered a stroke
while attending last month's African Union summit in Egypt, is said to be
responding well to treatment. Chief government spokesman Mike Mulongoti said
the president was getting better.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the ruling
Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) says the party is not in disarray. Ben
Tetamashimba is under fire for reportedly suggesting that a succession process
should begin when President Mwanawasa returns to Zambia from Paris where he is
Tetamashimba told VOA his words were
misunderstood because the party is not planning on removing President Mwanawasa
as head of the ruling MMD.
to the MMD constitution, President Mwanawasa was elected party president in
2005, and his mandate up to 2010 when we are to have a convention. And only
then are we going to have another person who is going to be elected as party
president, and then President Mwanawasa would continue his job as president of
the country. And that seems to have been misunderstood by some people who
thought that we were planning to remove the president from his party job. For
now, President Mwanawasa is our president up to 2010," he said.
within the ruling MMD have reportedly asked national party chairman Michael
Mabenga to discipline Tetamashimba for reportedly suggesting that a succession
process should begin to replace President Mwanawasa as head of the party.
said the national chairman is more concerned about united the party and to pray
for President Mwanawasa to return home healthy.
national secretary wanted me to be disciplined, but the normal thing is that
for me who is in the executive to be disciplined, the party has to ask the head
of state, President Mwanawasa to allow me to be disciplined by my party.
Without that I cannot be disciplined. But it's not an issue that as a party we
want to waste our time on. We want to unite our party; we want to pray for
President Mwanawasa so that he can come back home and lead his party and lead
his government," Tetamashimba said.
said President Mwanawasa's rating is very high around the world, and Zambians
would have loved for their president to present to lead the Southern African
Development Community-sponsored talks on Zimbabwe.
said President Mwanawasa was responding well to treatment.
Mwanawasa is doing well. One of my colleagues in government, the minister of
information has spoken to the first lady and was told that the president was
responding to treatment. Many Zambians are very encouraged that the President
of Zambia, Dr. Mwanawasa, is responding to treatment, and sooner or later we
shall all be going to receive him at the airport," Tetamashimba said.
rejected suggestion by some Zambians that the government should allow doctors
attending to President Mwanawasa in France to be responsible for issuing
regular updates on the president's health instead of Vice President Rupiah
"I think it is very malicious. The
sickness of President Mwanawasa has not affected the running of government. His
cabinet is doing very well. They are doing a commendable job. Many Zambians
have said that they don't want this issue of organizing doctors to go and
examine the president. Time is going to come. You can't expect some one to
recover within 21 days, and I think that Zambians are giving the president
chance to recover," Tetamashimba said.